What is anxiety?
Fight or flight
The fight or flight response is the body’s natural response to impending threat. You’ve heard of someone lifting up a car to pull out an injured person – something we could never do without the fight or flight response. Our pupils dilate (probably to help us see contrast better), our digestion slows down (after all, why waste energy digesting food when you need to run or fight?), our heart rate increases to get more oxygen and nutrients to our muscles, we begin to sweat in anticipation of getting overheated by fighting or running, our muscle tension increases, and fats and sugars pour into our muscles from our organs. Also, stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol pour into our systems, giving us a boost. In a time when we had to chase our food and escape wild animals, the fight or flight response was more frequently adaptive. Our brains don’t know the difference between a physical stressor and a psychological stressor, so we get the Fight or Flight response regardless. Ironically, though, under Fight or Flight, the good, human parts of our brains essentially stop working. We’re back in the reptile brain. So if we have a psychological (and not physical) stressor, the very tool we need to fix it (the logical, human part of our brain) is disabled. Fight or flight is adaptive short-term, but some people get stuck in the fight-or-flight response long-term. It’s very uncomfortable – and it’s unhealthy.
Your body can learn to activate its parasympathetic nervous system to reduce the fight or flight response. In fact, it does this naturally! However, to give the natural process a boost, try practicing a form of deep relaxation daily. Relaxation Hypnosis is one way. Try this relaxation hypnosis I recorded in the studio. It’s about 20 minutes long. Practice at a consistent time of day if you can. Get comfortable in a darkened, quiet room, free of distractions. The most important instruction is to be non-judgmental. Simply let whatever happens be as it is. Don’t judge yourself or the process. Some people get relaxed the first time, but for others it requires practice.
Listen online to relaxation hypnosis.
Download relaxation hypnosis . When you get to the Google Drive site, click on the downward arrow in the top right part of the screen. It looks like this: